As Amber began its Channel 4 Workshop franchise, it organised a weekend exploring the possibilities of film and television as a means of engaging with working class audiences, experience and concerns. Each session focused on one of the invited writers.
0.00 Intro by ACTT’s Roy Lockett with Barry Hines
1.00 “Barry Hines work focused on working class and mass audiences. Nine to ten million audience. ‘Working Class my clients’.
3.00: Difficulties of writing politically active working class characters for TV
4.30: Hines’ suspicion of TV. Ephemeral. ‘Diminished image in the corner’.
5.00: “TV tricks and delay tactics employed . Scheduling programmes 18 months after events.
Hines calls for a nationalised Film Industry – concerned with artistic value and political subjects, rather than commercial considerations.”
6.40: Film shown on ITV at 21.45 in May. Minimal impact.
7.15: Film v TV argument. Film more sustainable with audience. A need for a proper British Film Industry.
8.00: “Writing novels. Two years writing and read by the middle class. Frustration with novels more than TV.
Publishing is more exclusive than TV. ”
12.30: Justification of novel writing. Audience is in partnership with the writer. TV is passive. Reading is creative. Constant problem with Hines. Care for Working class audience.
15.30: “The Gamekeeper film. Written by Hines. BBC Two rejected film. Disregard for working class representation by the media controllers.”
19.20: Work impact on the working class audience. The writer as a representative for the working class. to create a honest account of reality.
23.15: The ideological battle of ideas. Cannot disregard the middle class socialist.
25.10: Guardian/Literary Criticism – not qualified to comment on working class world. Prevailing culture of Culture against the working class,
27.16: The Price of Coal review in Telegraph. Doing this work for the right reasons.
28.14: Critics are all middle class. Q. Where do you get the feedback from the working class?
30.00: Development of the Workshop Sector. Strongly rooted, regional groups. Radical, socialist, feminist, black production groups. £8,000 year funds.
31.00: “Research for The Gamekeeper. Hines class bias. Contradictions of the working class.
Looks and Smiles – Ken Loach. Research. Youth unemployment. ”
36.30: End of session